Frequently I am asked by a newer pastor a question that I know has a bigger question behind it. They may be asking about how I handle an employee situation, but what I’ve come to understand is that there is usually a much larger issue they are wrestling through at the time—probably more often than not.
Pastors are like every other leader. It’s hard. We lead people. And, that comes with challenge.
Often when the pastor, using the same example, is asking about an employee situation, what they are really wondering is how to handle conflict. They want some clarity on leading difficult people. They want to know if it’s time to pull the seemingly impossible trigger in church leadership and actually release someone from employment.
Wow! Isn’t that hard? That’s a hard and often messy process every time—but especially when it’s the first time a person has done it.
I try to listen for the bigger question a pastor is asking.
One of the main purposes of my personal blog is to help younger pastors think through some of these issues. I try to write about real life—real pastor—real church leadership issues.
Still, I could write thousands of blog posts on church leadership and it wouldn’t be enough.
Pastors need someone to sit with them. Someone to talk through the issues with. Someone who is just available and in their corner when the questions seem bigger than them. Someone they can trust.
Over the years, I’ve tried to reach out to a few younger pastors. I can’t meet with everyone, but I can meet with some.
Frequently I will invite them to sit in on one of our staff meetings, then accompany our staff to lunch. I let them ask questions from the various ministers within our church working with different ministries.
I schedule a regular lunch with a few young pastors, meeting periodically, but often enough to build a relationship with them where they feel free to open up to me. In between lunches, I check in with them from time to time by phone or email, and of course, I’m available to them if needed other times. I even periodically get our wives together with us.
Currently, since I’m fairly new in Lexington, I am organizing a group of 3-4 younger pastors. We will meet following the same pattern—maybe meeting every 4 to 6 weeks.
Again, I can’t be there for everyone. (Although anyone can read my blog.) But, I can be there for some.
Bottom line older pastor/leader, these younger pastors need our help. It’s true Kingdom building.
What could you do to help?